After a much needed three points against Swansea City in the last league game, Slaven Bilic and co. will be looking to build on that victory to spring a late surge in the up the table. Before the 1-0 win over Swansea, West Ham had lost five games on the trot and were looking like the team to fight relegation in the last two months but a win over the Swans has changed the complexion in the bottom half of the table.
West Ham’s opponents on Saturday are Sunderland who are undergoing a sombre spell and are likely drop to the Championship next season. The Black Cats have not won a game in their last six matches and last scored a home goal back in January. The Hammers have not done a league double over Sunderland in the last nine years but Saturday provides a brilliant chance to change that record. Here is the predicted West Ham United lineup which will take up the challenge at the Stadium of Light.
After the first few games of the season, Darren Randolph has effectively replaced Adrian from the playing eleven. He will be the custodian on Saturday against a faltering Sunderland attacking options.
The youngster Sam Byram has done okay of late and will play as the right-back against Sunderland. The left-back slot will be covered by Arthur Masuaku. He has done justice to his starts in the Premier League after the long-term injury suffered by Aaron Cresswell. With Angelo Ogbonna and Winston Reid out of the next game, James Collins and January signing Jose Fonte will be the centre-back pairing for the Hammers.
Edmilson Fernandes and Cheikhou Kouyaté will be the two deeper midfielders which West Ham will employ as the East Londoners are expected to play in a 4-2-3-1 formation. Mark Noble is out of contention after picking up his 10th yellow card in the last game along with Pedro Obiang who is a long-term absentee for the Hammers.
Manuel Lanzini has replaced Dimitri Payet well but consistency has been an issue for the 24-year old. He will play on his favoured left wing position while former Hull City talisman Robert Snodgrass will be deployed on the right. Andre Ayew will play behind the striker in a number 19 role as he has often saved West Ham from losing positions with his timely contributions.
With seven goals in an injury ridden season, Andy Carroll has been crucial up top for Bilic’s side whenever he has been fully fit. Sunderland have conceded 56 goals in the Premier League this season and the towering striker will relish his chances against a leaky Black Cats defence.